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connecting a wireless router to your hotel ethernet connection

connecting a wireless router to your hotel ethernet connection

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Old Dec 20, 09, 1:39 pm
  #61  
 
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Hotel internet login from travel router

Originally Posted by jcherney View Post
Assuming you clone the MAC address to the router, once you log in using, say your work laptop, that is the only connection that the hotel will see. The router will then provide an internal IP address for your laptop, Macbook, PDA, or whatever for you to use, and pump out the data thru the single IP that is registered with the hotel.

edit: It will work without cloning, but the cloning will save you problems later on in some situations.
I'm responding to an old thread about travel routers. I'm curious how you perform the initial hotel login and authorize payment and then use the travel router after? I'm guessing all that is needed is to clone the MAC address of your work laptop on the travel router, login first using the work laptop, then disconnect and reconnect the travel router. Hopefully the hotel will think it is the same device and then I can share the hotel internet connect with the laptop, iPhone and another laptop, etc...

this all seems easier than getting Microsoft Internet Sharing to work consistently.
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Old Dec 20, 09, 1:55 pm
  #62  
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Not quite. You attached the router to the hotel internet and then the laptop to the router. When you power up the router it is hitting the hotel's DHCP server and getting an IP address. The laptop is trying to use the router and gets the login page. You just proceed as if the laptop were connected to the hotel internet. Sign-in and surf.
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Old Dec 20, 09, 2:25 pm
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Originally Posted by yosithezet View Post
Not quite. You attached the router to the hotel internet and then the laptop to the router. When you power up the router it is hitting the hotel's DHCP server and getting an IP address. The laptop is trying to use the router and gets the login page. You just proceed as if the laptop were connected to the hotel internet. Sign-in and surf.
Ok, Thanks. I'm trying to understand how this works then. I guess the router passes the web-portal redirection over to the client that is attached. That seems a little funny since there may be multiple clients attached to the travel router and I'm not sure how it would know to pass the login page to, but maybe it is just the first one to access the router. It doesn't seem necessary to use the clone MAC address feature then either.
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Old Dec 20, 09, 11:01 pm
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Originally Posted by PabloTbag View Post
Ok, Thanks. I'm trying to understand how this works then. I guess the router passes the web-portal redirection over to the client that is attached. That seems a little funny since there may be multiple clients attached to the travel router and I'm not sure how it would know to pass the login page to, but maybe it is just the first one to access the router. It doesn't seem necessary to use the clone MAC address feature then either.
When the travel router is connected and gets an IP address from the DHCP server, the MAC for the travel router is added to a table on the hotel's router. Since your travel router is most likely doing NAT (Network Address Translation), any (and all) packets coming from the computers on the other side of the router will be "modified" to look like they are coming from the router itself, and by extension the MAC address of the router.

The behavior of going to a web portal and accepting the terms, logging in, etc. is called a Captive Portal, and this is generally a feature built-in to routers to get users to accept some conditions, etc. before allowing internet access. Once you accept, the router remembers that (typically for 24 hours in a hotel) so future HTTP requests from that same MAC won't be forced to go through the captive portal process again.

Long story short, the first person who tries to access the internet through your router will have to accept the conditions, etc. and then future connections will be let through automatically. You don't need to clone the MAC address since hotels won't have any knowledge of your MAC address ahead of time. That was a feature that used to be used by ISPs who knew the MAC address because they provided you the router for your house. These days, that isn't typically used by any ISPs any more.

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Old Dec 20, 09, 11:09 pm
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Thanks Ryan. Don't some of the captive portal systems actually have an applett that reads the MAC address off the machine that is running the browser? If that were the case, it would seem to be wise to at least clone the MAC address of the wireless inteface on the laptop to the travel router wired LAN address just to be safe
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Old Dec 21, 09, 12:59 am
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Originally Posted by PabloTbag View Post
Don't some of the captive portal systems actually have an applett that reads the MAC address off the machine that is running the browser?
That's possible, but it would perplex a lot of people like me who use travel routers all the time at hotels without incident.

Last edited by boberonicus; Dec 21, 09 at 1:08 am
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Old Dec 21, 09, 1:33 pm
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Originally Posted by PabloTbag View Post
Thanks Ryan. Don't some of the captive portal systems actually have an applett that reads the MAC address off the machine that is running the browser? If that were the case, it would seem to be wise to at least clone the MAC address of the wireless inteface on the laptop to the travel router wired LAN address just to be safe
I don't think that is possible, at least not with a router that has a built in firewall and plugging into the WAN/CABLE port. Nothing outside the router firewall should be able to see any IPs, MACs or other stuff happening on the LAN side.

One thing I could see causing problems is the default address of your router. Many routers are shipped using the same default IP. 10.1.0.1, 192.168.0.1 and 192.168.1.1 are common ones. If your router is trying to use the same subnet it will have issues. You might want to change it to 192.168.xxx.1, where xxx is some other number (2-255) that would be uncommon in a default setup.
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Old Dec 21, 09, 2:25 pm
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Originally Posted by tev9999 View Post
I don't think that is possible, at least not with a router that has a built in firewall and plugging into the WAN/CABLE port. Nothing outside the router firewall should be able to see any IPs, MACs or other stuff happening on the LAN side.
The OP's thesis is that the captive portal could ask your browser to execute an app that would cough up your MAC address. Unrelated to router firewall.
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Old Dec 21, 09, 9:07 pm
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Originally Posted by PabloTbag View Post
Thanks Ryan. Don't some of the captive portal systems actually have an applett that reads the MAC address off the machine that is running the browser? If that were the case, it would seem to be wise to at least clone the MAC address of the wireless inteface on the laptop to the travel router wired LAN address just to be safe
I don't claim to be an expert on captive portals, but generally speaking, captive portals are done via a simple HTTP redirect by the router itself to a webpage which asks you to login and/or accept some terms. I've never seen one that runs/installs any kind of applet (at least not in the US), but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

I would suspect though, that an applet approach would not be ideal since it is impossible to determine what types of machines, browsers, restrictions will be in place on customer machines. In other words, not every browser can support every technology (activex, java, etc.) so the people running the captive portal would cause themselves more grief by putting a restrictive solution in place (more help desk calls, etc.).

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Old Dec 22, 09, 6:46 am
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I've never had to do any mac address cloning, and to do that with a second computer say, would cause traffic problems in the LAN.
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Old Dec 23, 09, 12:25 am
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I would suggest if you are running Windows 7, get the program Connectify. Painless and simple in a couple of minutes. No need for a router. I use it to connect my other devices, notebooks, etc.

http://connectify.me/
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Old Dec 23, 09, 6:06 pm
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I will be traveling soon with a group of people and the thought of a portable router is just awesome. How difficult would it be to connect for someone that is not tech savy? There were several recommendations, I believe the DLink was the most spoke of.
Would it be beneficial for someone not tech savy? I know hotels charge so much for their wireless. Also someone said they use it for their desk or something at home, how does that work? Even though you have a wireless router you use this too?

Thanks for any additional info anyone can offer.

Here it is...
SoManyMiles-SoLittleTime
I use the D-link travel router (click here), a superb unit (unlike my experience with other D-link products). In fact I have three of them.

Can be used as a router, access point, or client (I use it as a client on my home desktop).

IF you can find them on sale, buy all of them!

Last edited by Stars4SA; Dec 23, 09 at 6:09 pm Reason: Added ManyMiles/LittleTimes information I was quoting.
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Old Dec 23, 09, 11:59 pm
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Originally Posted by SoManyMiles-SoLittleTime View Post
The switch on the bottom of the D-link router has three positions: router, access point, and client.

You want router or access point. Frankly, I don't understand the difference, and I've had to switch between them at various locations to get it to work.
I have been using the small D-Link as well for a few years. The question presented above, however, has baffled me all along.

I use mine in the router mode without any problems.

How does router and AP mode differ from each other in a real life setting?
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Old Dec 24, 09, 1:49 pm
  #74  
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Most routers can handle up to 32 connections to it. Once I had 18-20 fellow travelers connected to mine at one time.

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Old Dec 24, 09, 2:41 pm
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In access point mode, it's strictly pass-through. It's like an ethernet hub, only with wireless connections instead of ethernet cables. Any sort of management such as handing out IP addresses has to be handled elsewhere.

In router mode, it presents a single address to the network it's connected to so it looks like a single device. On the wireless side, it hands out IP addresses to the computers that connect to it and translates requests from these addresses to its single network address. This is what you normally use -- the router appears like a single computer to your internet provider.

In client mode, it's acting as a bridge. This allows you to set up a local wired network from it that's joined to another network wirelessly.
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